New Textbook Includes the Use of Cold-Formed Steel for Innovative Low-Rise Building Design

WASHINGTON, DC, June 11, 2012 – A new textbook that includes cold-formed steel as one of three innovative design techniques for low-rise buildings will bridge an information gap that currently exists in many undergraduate engineering curriculums. The publication, “Structural Design of Low-Rise Buildings in Cold-Formed Steel, Reinforced Masonry, and Structural Timber,” was written for civil and structural engineering undergraduate students, practicing engineers, and candidates for structural engineering licensing examinations. It provides state-of-the-art information on these three innovative design techniques, which are often downplayed or ignored in college curriculums. The textbook was published by McGraw-Hill.

The book was authored by five construction design professionals who are nationally recognized in their respective fields—J.R. Ubejd Mujagic, J. Daniel Dolan, Chukwuma G. Ekwueme, David A. Fanella, and Roger A. LaBoube. Two of the authors—J.R. Mujagic and Roger LaBoube—are members of AISI’s standards development committees, and J. Daniel Dolan has worked with AISI on several research and development projects. The book is available through several booksellers, from McGraw-Hill, and on the International Code Council’s online store.

“Structural Design of Low-Rise Buildings in Cold-Formed Steel, Reinforced Masonry, and Structural Timber” is a practical reference that explores these three types of low-rise building structural systems, demonstrates the design process, and discusses how to determine structural loadings and load paths for low-rise buildings. Design requirements and an overview of non-composite and composite open-web joist floor systems are included. The text utilizes the design code requirements referenced by the 2009 International Building Code.

“AISI encouraged the development of this book to help fill the knowledge gap that currently exists in
civil and structural engineering undergraduate curriculums nationwide,” Jay Larson, P.E., F.ASCE, managing director, AISI Construction Technical Program, said. “Today’s programs mandate one or two semester-long design courses that almost always focus on reinforced concrete and structural steel. A few programs periodically offer elective courses in reinforced masonry and structural timber design. However, only a handful of colleges and universities teach cold-formed steel design, even though cold-formed steel is a preeminent design material that is durable and promotes energy efficiency to meet today’s demand for sustainable construction practices.

“Our goal is to have cold-formed steel design taught widely at the undergraduate level,” Larson said. “This textbook will be a valuable tool for professors to use in facilitating a single-semester course covering all three materials. The course will complement existing curriculums that emphasize structural steel and reinforced concrete. The end result will be students who are more adequately prepared to meet challenges they’ll face in their careers as they become familiar with theoretical background in all five main construction materials.”

Larson said the book would also be of significant use to practicing structural engineers, especially those without educational backgrounds in cold-formed steel, reinforced masonry, or structural timber, because the information provided is critical to understanding member and system behavior found in common building structures. Those familiar with the three materials, but seeking information on the latest design code changes, will also find the text useful. Candidates for structural engineering licensing examinations will also benefit from reviewing design requirements for these three materials. 

Low-rise buildings were selected because of their vast prevalence in construction and their usefulness for the instruction of the design of structural elements, load path and overall behavior. Additionally, many low-rise structures framed with structural steel or reinforced concrete often include reinforced masonry, cold-formed steel or wood components.

AISI’s codes and standards work is conducted under the Construction Market Council of AISI’s Steel Market Development Institute, which oversees the industry’s investment in advancing the competitive use of steel by meeting the demands of the marketplace.

AISI serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel in the marketplace as the preferred material of choice. AISI also plays a lead role in
the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of 25 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers, and 124 associate members who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. AISI's member companies represent over three-quarters of both U.S. and North American steel capacity. For more news about steel and its applications, view AISI’s website at

Debbie Bennett
Manager, SMDI and Construction Communications
Steel Market Development Institute
Tel: 202.452.7179